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Take a Stand Against the Mask Mandates

It’s your patriotic duty to go maskless and risk being denied service.

Don’t just let it slip beneath your nose. Go maskless. Face the day. The shopping and other errands may not get done, but you’ll achieve even more with your time. Take yourself and others out of the comfort zone just a bit. You just might save America.

Even as states loosen or lift their mask mandates, private companies are holding fast to them. This juke move is causing too many conservatives and libertarians on the right to falter. Whereas in the former case, imposing masks on people was a violation of their rights, dignity, and the fundamental norms of civilization, the latter is seen as merely the exercise of property rights.

These free-market fundamentalists excuse the face covering mandates when handed down from a corporate office, because it’s not a government one. This intellectual cowardice undermines the very first premise of the free market, the indispensable cohesion and trust that must exist within a social order.

It should be obvious how mass masking tears at the fabric of society, to say nothing of the psychological effects on future generations. There can be no compromise on this matter, but some businesses are trying to find one. They require employees to mask up while allowing customers to go mask-free, thus creating or exaggerating a class divide between lower wage workers and wealthier consumers that will not be good for anyone’s safety in the long run.

The mask mania is not going to go away on its own. Yes, there are anecdotally more folks defying the de facto oxygen rationing. The huddled masses yearning to breathe free are poking their noses out from under the muzzles. But this can’t be the standard symbol of protest forever.

Thankfully, some people are drawing a line in the sand like Terry White.

White, a 65-year-old woman, went maskless into a Galveston, Texas, Bank of America branch last week. She stood in line on her designated floor marker, exhibiting no symptoms of any kind, at least six feet apart from all others.

Her story ends with her becoming a tragic hero. That is the type that Aristotle described as someone who brings out our sense of pity for their blunder while also arousing fear in us that we too would suffer the same fate if we were in a similar place.

B. of A. ordered her to wear a mask or leave, then called the cops when she refused, even though she only wanted to close her account.

Bodycam footage, which has gone viral internationally, shows White mocking the police officer’s warning that she risked being arrested for not leaving the property. By the time the officer pulled out his handcuffs, she turned for the exits, but by the officer’s discretion, she was too late.

The officer shoved her to the ground, where he proceeded to break several bones in her foot and spill her personal belongings across the floor. Then customers mocked White, and none of them showed her any sympathy.

Why not just put on the dang mask? There are certainly many valid criticisms of this woman. That goes to the essence of being a tragic hero. But any conservative, libertarian, or other right-wing person who chooses denunciation over approbation is part of the problem in this country.

It’s time to face down the enforcers of these ridiculous rules. Patriots, get ready to leave your comfort zone and leave the mask at home in the trash. Hold your head high with pride in yourself and your country as you walk into that grocery store, bowling alley, bank, or restaurant.

Now, the point of this is not to be rude or invite physical conflict. Obviously. As the late Rep. John Lewis put it, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

It’s all about good trouble. And it’s actually not that big of a deal, especially after the first couple times. That’s why it’s useful to set aside at least a couple hours for this intention. Run your errands as you would. Give the hostess, doorman, greeter, or whomever your full attention when they ask, “Um, do you have a mask?”

“No,” is a good enough reply. Resist the urge to give a speech or an excuse like having a medical condition.

It’s then likely you’ll be asked to leave or told that they cannot serve you. From here, be as polite and as reserved as you were when you walked in. You can say a little more, because at this point the other person is all done parroting the scripted lines given to them.

“I appreciate the fact that you have that policy. I want to give you my business, and I would love to be a returning customer. That’s why I’m asking you to please weigh those things and let me pay for your services without forcing me to wear a mask.”

Again, more than likely this isn’t getting you anywhere at first glance. They may even say they’re calling the cops at this juncture, despite your neighborly demeanor.

Killing them with kindness is the approach here. How far that goes depends on the situation and people involved, but any new anti-masker will benefit from the experience. In an ideal scenario, you’re being gracious and loud enough for bystanders to take notice of what’s going on.

In a short period of time, encounters like these will become easier to do. The adrenaline rush will subside, and the new skills and strengths gained might be shared with friends and family who would also like to fight the mask man.

Asking normal people to essentially pull stunts like this may be futile. But the threats to individual liberty today are also highly disruptive of normal social functions that bond communities together. No great institution in America today is going to save us, so it’s up to those willing to set an example.

Spring is upon us, but don’t become a sunshine patriot. Challenge yourself and those around you in a safe and responsible manner, and if enough others do the same, that will be the last of the mask mandates, private or public.

Nick Hankoff is a writer, editor, and host of a podcast at nickhankoff.com, where his other writing for the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the Advocates for Self-Government can also be found. He lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with his wife and their three children.